Posts Tagged ‘cherry tomatoes’

Cool climate gardening


2013
01.20
Todays Harvest Basket Sept 18, 2012

Tomatoes and peppers are easiest and most popular home grown vegetables.

When my favorite Canadian cousin asked for advice and gardening suggestions, I thought about NicholsGarden Nusery. I’ve been ordering from Nichols for 20 years.

Cousin Sheila wanted to know what seeds would be good for her friend, a new gardener in Alaska.

They raise cabbage in Alaska that make my Missouri crop look like Brussels Sprouts. The first people I would turn to if I wanted to know about gardening in Canada are her parents, my Uncle and Aunt.

Nobody knows Alaska gardening better than Jeff Lowenfels. His column in the Anchorage Daily News is helpful for all gardeners, especially Alaskans.

I was going to suggest some of the best catalogs for colder climates, but Jeff’s suggestions are exactly what I was going to suggest. Seed Catalogs for Alaska gardeners.

If your friend wants to follow a great Gardening Blog, Kathy Purdy’s
Cold Climate Gardening is one of the best.

Rose Marie Nichols McGee introduced me to Indigo Rose. “It’s the worlds first high anthocyanin tomato,” she said.  “Oh, really,” I said. (Note to self, What the heck is anthocyanin? Find out.)

Rose Marie sent seed, and I grew little blue tomatoes last summer. So, I grew beautiful little saladette Indigo Rose tomatoes.

Indigo Rose ripe

When exposed to full sun, these Indigo Rose tomatoes turn blue. Photo Patsy Bell Hobson

If I was a new gardener, I’d buy a couple of  tomato plants and a pepper plant. Then, I would grow leafy greens from seed. Lettuces to start, then chard, kale, and/or spinach.

Or, if I am planting a first garden in Alaska, I might grow these vegetables from Nichols. Rose Marie Nichols McGee has a great blog on the Nichols site, The Gardener’s Pantry Blog.

Garden 1. Salad, tomato, squash. cucumber

Start with salad greens, radish and spinach

lettuce and spinach will be suceeded by pepper plants

lettuce and spinach will be suceeded by tomato and pepper plants. Photo PBH

  • Mesclun – (mixed lettuces) Nichols Organic Mesclun “The Eclectic Eleven”

Why? Because you get a lot of different salad greens, all in one packet.

  • Radish – Easter Egg Radish

Why? Because there a several colors and all taste the same (not hot).

  • Spinach – Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach and/or chard or kale

Why? – Fresh spinach salad with hot bacon dressing

Sungold tomato. photo: PBH

Sungold tomato. photo: PBH

  • Tomato: Sun Gold – The sweetest cherry tomato ever.
  • Tomato: Glacier – Very early medium sized tomato
  • Tomato: Oregon Spring – Large early fruits from compact plants.
  • Squash: Jackpot Zucchini – early, non stop production.
  • Cucumber: National Pickling – compact, small for pickling and fresh.

 

Garden 2. Tomatoes, squash and green beans

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Stupice heirloom, early producer. Photo: Renee’s Garden

Another choice for a first garden: Tomatoes, squash and green beans are a good starter garden. I’ve gown these plants in my garden, and they will do well in Alaska too. These seeds are from Renee’s Garden.

  • Tomato: Stupice – Early bearing, cold tolerant, with richly flavored fruits on short vines. Heirloom.
  • Tomato: Italian Pompeii – loads up early with heavy harvests of meaty plum tomatoes.
  • Tomato: Little Red Pear – vigorous vines load up with clusters of petite pear-shaped ruby-red fruits. Heirloom.
  • Green Beans: Rolande – French “haricot verts”, long skinny, tender full flavor green beans.
  • Green Beans: Provider – Great tasting, highly productive and reliable variety. Heirloom.
  • Squash: Tricolor Mix – three beautiful zucchini summer squash in one packet.

Join Renee’s Comunity Garden.  Find fellow gardeners and get your garden questions answered here. I’ll see you at Renee’s Community Garden.

More Help:

Top Tomato Tips: How to Plant Tomatoes

Decoding Tomato Plants Tags

What is a F-1 tomato?

Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes


2010
08.26

Try Tomaccio Tomatoes

The most prolific tomato in my garden is ‘Tomaccio’™.

Cluster after cluster until frost.

‘Tomaccio’™ originated at Hishtil Nurseries in Israel as the result of a 12 year breeding program using wild Peruvian tomato species to create the world’s finest, sweetest snack tomato, fresh or dried. Europeans in France and Germany have been growing and enjoying tomato ‘tomaccio’ for several years.

These tomato plants are huge, about 7′ tall, so I trimmed the tomato plant and hung some of the tomato vines to dry to show you how to do it. Tomaccio are the first tomatoes to ripen, continuously producing cluster after cluster of fruit.

Bargain sun-dried tomatoes

I’ve been drying cherry tomatoes for many years because I love the intense tomato flavor in winter soups, on pizza, and in spaghetti sauce. Tomaccio are rich and sweet fresh off the vine, drying simply intensifies their flavor.

Living next the Mississippi River, the air is usually too humid for fruits to dry naturally, but a 5-tray food dehydrator makes fast work of drying cherry tomatoes. I cut each tomato in half and fill the trays in a single layer.

You can also dry tomatoes in an oven on 100-degree F for about 3 hours. Snack on the dried tomaccio or store in a plastic zipper bag in the freezer.

C. Raker & Sons partnered with the Israeli firm Hishtil to bring Tomaccio to the United States. Look for Tomaccio plants at independent garden centers next spring, or visit www.raker.com to find a retail source near you.

As a member of the Garden Writers Association, I had the opportunity to trial Tomaccio this summer. These plants are prolific. I think I am getting more tomatoes from a single Tomaccio plant than I would from three or four cherry or pear tomato plants. That’s more produce in less garden space.

Plants will grow to 9'

The plants continue to grow and produce sweet cherry tomatoes. Later, I’ll have more details about drying Tomaccio.

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